philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


Edmentum Partners with Boulevard Arts to Launch Standards-Aligned Augmented Reality Activities

Courseware’s English 9A and 9B courses now include a suite of AR activities through the Boulevard x ED app, available on iOS and Android

Edmentum, a global education leader and pioneer in online teaching and learning solutions has partnered with Boulevard Arts, a premier developer of immersive augmented reality (AR) programs for education. Beginning this fall semester, the AR activities for Courseware’s English 9 courses can be accessed through the Boulevard x ED mobile app, available on Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store for Android.

These new AR activities allow English 9 students to place virtual works of art in their classroom, living room, computer lab, or even outside and interact with them up close through their mobile device. Carefully curated for deep integration with Courseware’s standards-aligned English 9A and 9B courses, these objects and the activities developed around them prompt students to explore and deepen their understanding of literary elements such as theme, plot, and setting. These activities also support media literacy, personal connection, and creative expression.

Boulevard x ED’s AR activities for Edmentum’s English 9 courses demonstrate how looking closely at an Edward Hopper painting, a Japanese print, a medieval tapestry, or a Maya carving can not only meaningfully engage students but also help them access key English language arts concepts in a contextual way.

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FANTASY Virtual Reality Blockchain Platform To Feature Premiere Adult VR Content From BaDoinkVR


FANTASY Virtual Reality Blockchain Platform To Feature Premiere Adult VR Content From BaDoinkVR

FANTASY Virtual Reality Blockchain Platform To Feature Premiere Adult VR Content From BaDoinkVR

FANTASY, the premium adult virtual reality platform where payments are triggered by eye 'gaze,' today announced a content partnership with BaDoinkVR, the world's leading provider of adult virtual reality entertainment. The FANTASY VR platform features a virtual Red Light District where every street has a different adventure and behind every window lies a unique adult-themed fantasy. BaDoinkVR will utilize FANTASY to generate a new blockchain based revenue stream, provided by the VR platform's proprietary cryptocurrency Gaze Coin.

FANTASY is powered by Gaze Coin - a revolutionary payment system that allows content providers to generate revenue based on real-time engagement. Utilizing eye tracking technology, payments are made instantaneously based on how long a user interacts with the content. As a result, content providers and virtual property owners can generate multiple revenue streams for every minute and every user who engages with their content. From the users' perspective, consumers can avoid paying a relatively more expensive monthly subscription fee, and only pay for the content that they consume.

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‘The Under Presents’ Is A Novel Exploration Of VR And Live Immersive Theatre

960x0-8The new experience from Virtual Virtual Reality studio Tender Claws, in collaboration with Piehole, launches on Oculus Quest today.

Now, after previews at Sundance Film Festival and IndieCade, the studio behind VVR is back with the official Oculus Quest launch of The Under Presents—a title that finds Tender Claws again pushing the envelope for the language of immersive storytelling.

The first thing you need to know about The Under is that a lot is happening in The Under. The game is particularly notable, though, in its presentation of narrative and agency; its integration of immersive theatre and live interactivity; and its interaction design.


In The Under Presents, there is definitely a meta aspect at work, but not quite so obviously as in VVR. Worlds nest within and throughout each other—be they ships in bottles or time loops.

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AI is digitally pasting products into your favourite films and TV

shutterstock_editorial_5886190amAd blockers aren’t going to be useful for much longer. Major entertainment companies including NBC Universal and 20th Century Fox are now using artificial intelligence to digitally insert advertisements and products into movies and TV shows after they have been filmed.

The firms are using technology developed by UK company Mirriad to insert flat posters on buildings, walls and buses in already-filmed scenes and even to add 3D objects. It has the potential to make advertising more targeted and ubiquitous than ever before, and also virtually impossible to avoid. The technology …

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Sony to open applied AI research center in India next year

Sony Corp. will open its first research center in India in 2020 to study the application of artificial intelligence technology to businesses.

The center will develop AI technologies adaptable to the entertainment field, where Sony provides films and videos, a Sony spokesman said.

Sony plans to open similar centers at multiple sites in India while collaborating with local universities and individual researchers in motivating and fostering research talent, according to the statement.

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Second virtual reality experience to open on the Promenade

Screen_Shot_2019-11-15_at_10.00.04_AM_copyA Tokyo-based virtual reality company will add a new dimension to the Third Street Promenade.

Tyffonium plans to open its first American location at 1444 Third Street Promenade. At the company’s Tokyo locations, customers can either navigate a ship through a fantasy world or explore a haunted manor. The locations also include cafes that double as waiting rooms.

Tyffonium will be the Third Street Promenade’s second virtual reality experience. The Void opened a few blocks north late last year, offering VR attractions based on “Star Wars” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet” for around $35.

The two-story white building between Urban Outfitters and Pacsun that Tyffonium plans to move into previously housed a pizzeria but has stood vacant for about four years.

The company plans to transform the facade into something that resembles a fantasy castle, with gray fluted zinc paneling, a purple brick wall and bronze windows and columns. The Santa Monica Architectural Review Board will consider the project on Monday.

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Ubiquity6 launches app to capture, edit, and share augmented reality spaces

[PhilNote: how will this impact]

ubiquity6-PetalumaLibraryUbiquity6 is launching, an augmented reality app that lets people capture the world around them, edit and mash it up, and then share it with other people.

With this merger of physical and digital worlds, reality becomes a canvas for creative people to decorate with virtual imagery. The app is available on iOS and Android, and it uses the graphics processing power of smartphones and photogrammetry, or precisely interpreting and stitching together photos to get a sense of space, to do its work. It also taps Ubiquity6’s cloud servers.

With, your camera becomes a scanner for the world.

“Anybody with a smartphone can convert a real-world location into a shared digital space, precise to a few centimeters. You can then create 3D interactive experiences in those spaces, almost like using a game engine, but with no need to become a professional game developer. And you can share it with whoever you like. This is really just the beginning of what we can do.”

Since launching in beta, Midha said the community map has grown as users have shared thousands of real-world spaces in over 50 countries, from graffiti-filled streets in Barcelona and coffee shops in Tokyo to secret gardens in London and underground bunkers in Sausalito.

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20191113_Snapchat_lens_main_NEW2At its annual Lens Fest, Snapchat displays the future of creating augmented reality for the platform

Snapchat is promising $750,000 to its top augmented reality stars in 2020, triple its commitment from this year. This pot of cash shows how the company wants to build the future of its high-tech platform on the creativity of these next-generation influencers.

Snapchat executives announced the financial support at its annual Lens Fest, named for the virtual Lenses popularized on the app.

Coinciding with Lens Fest, Snapchat also started selling Spectacles 3, the third version of the digital video glasses that are now open to Lens creators for the first time. The glasses cost $380, and they shoot video using 3D technology that is designed for adding augmented reality effects.

With the new glasses-based creative tools and a growing community of Lens makers, Snapchat is looking to emphasize its augmented reality advantage against powerful rivals like Facebook, which owns Instagram, and Google, which owns YouTube, while staving off challengers like TikTok. The rival platforms are all investing in augmented reality with similar tools for third-party developers, but Snapchat is widely considered to have the most advanced AR technology.

The starting rate for creating a Lens for a brand is typically $10,000, according to Weishaar, but the price varies depending on how often the Lens gets shared and how many people see it, among other factors.

Snapchat paid $250,000 to Lens makers in 2019, but is ready to spend $750,000 in 2020, according to creators. A Snapchat spokeswoman confirmed this figure.

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Opinion: AI For Good Is Often Bad

OpEd-Poaching-Inline-1136697730I was handed a printout with my blurry image next to a picture of an elephant, along with text explaining that the TrailGuard AI camera alerts rangers to capture poachers before one of the 35,000 elephants each year are killed. Despite these good intentions, I couldn’t help but wonder: What if this happened to me in the wild? Would local authorities come to arrest me now that I had been labeled a criminal? How would I prove my innocence against the AI? Was the false positive a result of a tool like facial recognition, notoriously bad with darker skin tones, or was it something else about me? Is everyone a poacher in the eyes of Intel’s computer vision?

Intel isn’t alone. Within the last few years, a number of tech companies, from Google to Huawei, have launched their own programs under the AI for Good banner. They deploy technologies like machine-learning algorithms to address critical issues like crime, poverty, hunger, and disease. In May, French president Emmanuel Macron invited about 60 leaders of AI-driven companies, like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, to a Tech for Good Summit in Paris. The same month, the United Nations in Geneva hosted its third annual AI for Global Good Summit sponsored by XPrize. (Disclosure: I have spoken at it twice.) A recent McKinsey report on AI for Social Good provides an analysis of 160 current cases claiming to use AI to address the world’s most pressing and intractable problems.

While AI for good programs often warrant genuine excitement, they should also invite increased scrutiny. Good intentions are not enough when it comes to deploying AI for those in greatest need. In fact, the fanfare around these projects smacks of tech solutionism, which can mask root causes and the risks of experimenting with AI on vulnerable people without appropriate safeguards.

The deeper issue is that no massive social problem can be reduced to the solution offered by the smartest corporate technologists partnering with the most venerable international organizations. When I reached out to the head of Intel’s AI for Good program for comment, I was told that the "poacher" label I received at the TrailGuard installation was in error—the public demonstration didn’t match the reality. The real AI system, Intel assured me, only detects humans or vehicles in the vicinity of endangered elephants and leaves it to the park rangers to identify them as poachers. Despite this nuance, the AI camera still won’t detect the likely causes of poaching: corruption, disregarding the rule of law, poverty, smuggling, and the recalcitrant demand for ivory.

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Czech government approves digital tax aimed at internet giants

The Czech government approved a 7% digital tax proposal on Monday aimed at boosting state coffers by taxing advertising by global internet giants like Google and Facebook, the Finance Ministry said.

The proposed tax, which still must make it past lawmakers in parliament, covers revenue gained from targeted advertising, providing digital market places, and user data sales.

It will be aimed at services provided to Czech users.

It would apply to companies with global revenue over 750 million euros ($826.50 million) annually, 100 million crown ($4.32 million) turnover in the Czech market and a reach exceeding 200,000 user accounts.

Similar moves by countries like France or Italy have upset the United States, home to the biggest internet players.

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